Woman sues California McDonald’s over ‘severe’ burns from hot coffee

A lawsuit has been filed by a woman who says she bought coffee from a San Francisco McDonald’s and was left with severe burns after the lid was not properly sealed over the drink.

Mable Childress, 85, says she visited the McDonald’s at 1100 Fillmore St. on June 13, 2023. She bought the coffee at the drive-through, according to the lawsuit, and the lid opened when she tried to drink it.

The lawsuit claims that Childress suffered “severe burns and emotional distress.” She has scarring on her groin area and is still feeling pain, though Childress’ lawyer told KRON4 she is recovering nicely and the burns are mostly healed.

Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Childress reported the incident to the restaurant’s managers and employees, but they “refused to help her.” After she continued to wait and ask for help, she was ignored and eventually left, per the lawsuit.

In a statement sent to KTLA’s sister station, KRON, restaurant owner Peter Ou said that employees did offer assistance.

“My restaurants have strict food safety protocols in place, including training crew to ensure lids on hot beverages are secure. We take every customer complaint seriously – and when Ms. Childress reported her experience to us later that day, our employees and management team spoke to her within a few minutes and offered assistance. We’re reviewing this new legal claim in detail,” Ou said.

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The civil lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s Restaurants of California. Childress asked for an amount of money more than $25,000.

McDonald’s was sued over a similar incident in the 1990s when a woman was scalded by hot McDonald’s coffee that pulled into her lap. A New Mexico jury awarded the victim $2.7 million, which was later reduced to $480,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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